13 EU countries 'completely or partially' cut off from Russian gas
Due to the temporary closure of Nord Stream 1, a total of 13 EU countries are "completely or partially" cut off from Russian gas.
Thirteen EU nations have either ceased getting Russian gas entirely or are only receiving a portion of it due to the temporary blockage of the Nord Stream pipeline 1, according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency.
"13 EU states are completely or partially cut off from Russian gas," the news agency reported citing a senior official from the Directorate General of the European Commission for Energy as saying on Thursday.
"As you know, Nord Stream 1 has been closed for maintenance since yesterday, that is, there are no Russian gas supplies to Germany and neighboring EU countries," the official said.
The Russian national energy company Gazprom revealed on Wednesday that Nord Stream 1 would be temporarily stopped for repairs from August 31 to September 3.
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Gazprom, which cut the supply through the 1,224-kilometre pipeline to 40% of capacity in June and 20% in July, said the "only gas compressor unit" that was currently in operation had to undergo technical maintenance.
"Upon the completion of the maintenance operations, provided that no malfunctions are identified, the gas transmission will be resumed at the rate of 33 million cubic meters per day," the company said last month.
Officials stated on Wednesday that Germany, the biggest recipient of gas supplies via the pipeline, is prepared for the disruption.
"I assume that we will be able to cope with it," Klaus Mueller, president of the German network regulator told Reuters. "I trust that Russia will return to at least 20 percent from Saturday, but no one can really say."
Gazprom announced on Wednesday that it will suspend gas shipments to French energy giant Engie due to payment concerns, raising the prospect of a wider supply shortfall. However, France is less vulnerable to the rise in gas prices caused by Russia's decision to curtail deliveries to Europe following draconian sanctions on the country after its special military operation in Ukraine.
Italy and Germany are now the two largest European countries most exposed to a gas supply shock due to their extensive use of natural gas and significant reliance on Russia, according to S&P Global Ratings.
About 60% of Germany's natural gas supply was piped in from Russia in 2020, primarily under long-term contracts.
The Ukraine war has led to an energy crisis across Europe, with August emerging as the most month with surging prices on record for power tariffs in the bloc, Rystad Energy said this week.
Italy was the first market to record a monthly spot price above €500 ($500.15) per megawatt hour, with the average for August rising to €547 per MWh, followed by France at €492 per MWh, Germany at €465 per MWh, and the United Kingdom at €438 per MWh.